Plant-based, traditional Thai medicine ready for human trials on coronavirus patients

PHOTO: Thairath

Some Thai doctors are veering away from pharmaceutical medicine for treating mild coronavirus symptoms and are going to try out plant-based solutions that have traditionally been used in Thailand to treat cold and flu symptoms. Researchers are studying the effects the plant Andrographis Paniculate has on treating the viral disease. The main state quarantine centres, Samut Prakan Hospital and Bang Lamung Hospital, are prepared for human trials once there is a patient that meets the criteria.

The research project is a collaboration between the Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Chulabhorn Research Institute and Government Pharmaceutical Organisation. Director-general of the alternative medicine department Marut Jirasrattasiri says the first phase of the human trials will focus on safety.

“We want to know the efficiency both in people with and without symptoms, the effects on the blood, and the cytokine enzyme effect that is harmful to the lungs, heart or liver.”

Those who have the coronavirus with mild to moderate symptoms, like fever and coughing, will be given the plant-based medicine. Typically those with moderate symptoms only lasting 72 hours are not given medicine.

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Researchers plan to give 6 patients 60 milligrams of the plant extract capsule pills. That’s 3 times the normal dose and it would be taken 3 times a day. Then another 6 patients would get a higher dose of 100 milligrams taken 3 times a day.

The plant, native to South Asia, has been known to treat the common cold as well as other mild infections and prevent flu viruses from binding from cells in the body. But WebMD says there is no good scientific evidence to support the medicinal uses.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand| WebMD

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Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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